From distant California, a reader recalled some he enjoyed as a youngster while growing up in Acadiana.
Walter Richard emailed that one of his favorite drinks was root beer. The root beer that most people liked in the olden days was Barq’s, now known as Barq’s Famous Olde Tyme Root Beer.
It has been bottled since the 1890’s and is one of the few soft drinks that originated in Louisiana and is still being marketed.
Barq’s Brothers Bottling Company was founded in 1890 in New Orleans by brothers Charles Edward and Gaston Barq, who came to Louisiana from France.
One of the company’s early drinks was Orangine. It won a gold medal at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago.
Edward Barq moved to Mississippi in 1897 with his new wife. The following year he opened the Biloxi Artesian Bottling Works, which also later sold a different formula of Barq’s Root Beer.
In 1976, the Biloxi Barq’s Company was purchased by John Oudt and John Koerner. They made plans to market the brand nationally but legally were unable to do so, because of the conflict with the original Barq’s Beverages of Louisiana.
These differences were resolved when the Coca Cola Company acquired all Barq companies in both states.
Walter Richard also mentioned other soft drinks he remembered. Trappey’s, now mostly known for its canned vegetables, also made Trappey’s Cream Soda and Trappey’s Strawberry Pop.
Richard also remembers another favorite, Delaware Punch, a fruit flavored drink, named for the Delaware grape, native of Delaware County, Ohio, from which its flavor is derived. Delaware Punch was introduced in 1913 by Thomas E. Lyons. The drink was named for the grape and not the state.
Besides Barq’s and Trappey’s, there were other early Louisiana bottles of pop.
A person mentioned a drink called Joe D Pop Rouge of Abbeville that he recalled drinking in the 1950’s. He said that the company was run by the Russo Family.
And several readers questioned how I did not mention soft drinks bottled in Sunset.
It is my understanding that the Sunset company had an arrangement with a national firm to produce and sell Squirt and Chocolate Pop.
Squirt was originated by Herb Bishop in 1938. He created a new, carbonated drink which required less fruit juice and sugar and had a grapefruit taste.
In 1941, the National Squirt Company introduced a mascot named “Little Squirt” with the picture of a little kid squirting juice out of a bottle. To this day many of us still refer to naughty little boys as “you little squirt.”
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